5th July 1948

NHS Scotland is founded

NHS Scotland was founded under the authority of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947 and came into existence on 5 July the following year. It wasn’t the nation’s first public health system, as the Highlands and Islands Medical Service had already been providing state-funded care for more than three decades. Nonetheless, the idea of a health service covering the whole country, paid for out of tax revenues seemingly needed some explanation.

Healthcare without fees

The government published explanations in newspapers. The issue of The Scotsman published on the day the service came into being carried one such panel. It outlined how the National Health Service “provides all forms of medical advice and care, medicines, drugs and appliances, as well as a family doctor. [It] is available to everybody, whether insured or not, and there are no fees to pay. You can use any part of it, or all of it, as you wish.”

Readers were urged to get application form EC1 from the post office or public library and use it to choose their preferred doctor.



Other events that occured in July

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